How Long Recovery After Ultramarathon (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After about 12 months

Usually, marathon races are the races in which the participants have to cover a distance of 26.2 miles within the shortest time. Ultramarathon races are even longer than marathons and are either completed on food or trails. These races have become quite popular in today’s world and are of 2 types depending based on the declaration of result. The winners of the runs are decided either based on the longest distance covered or based on the shortest time within which the distance has been covered.

The most common races in which the longest distance covered is measured includes the 50 miles, 100 miles and others. The most common races in which the shortest time covered is measured includes the time frame of 6 hours and others. Before the race, the participants have to undergo a tough training period through which endurance is developed to the maximum possible stage. The tough training period nourishes the body, reduces the chances of chronic diseases and is very helpful for the body and mind.

How Long Recovery After Ultramarathon?

TypeTime
Ultramarathon with some minor events14 months
Ultramarathon12 months

The training period keeps the body fit and away from diseases such as heart disease, cancer etc. It also leads to weight loss thereby reducing the anxiety of the mind. It provides peace to the mind and calms the body. Apart from everything, excess training sometimes leads to heart diseases. The injuries in muscles and cartilages are also found in some cases which have long term effects.

The training should be done under the guidance of a professional trainer who could customise the exercise/training keeping in mind-body of the individual. At first, the trainer needs to build a base for the body by making the individual cover a certain distance daily. This warming up time would give the body enough time to adjust to the stress caused due to daily exercise. An appropriate plan for about 6-20 weeks including various types of runs should also be prepared.

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Within the training schedule, various types of exercises and runs should be included and the pace should be increased gradually. Besides training, one should not ignore the necessity of the process of recovery and should give the body enough time to recover according to the schedule. The pace of training should be planned as such that the individual is comfortable within its bounds and doesn’t experience any kind of pain or injuries as a result of strenuous exercises.

Proper diet and recovery is the most essential part of the preparation for any kind of long races. The diet should include food items that provide large amounts of healthy carbs and proteins and less amount of fats. Fruits, grains, cereals, vegetables and lentils should be taken in large amounts. The participant must also drink lots of water and drinks which keep the body hydrated as it would increase the efficiency.

Why Does It Take So Long For Recovery After Ultramarathon?

The time and process of recovery generally depend on various factors. But the first one needs to understand the after-effects of running an ultramarathon. The severity of fatigue and hours of continuous running may lead the mind towards hallucinations thereby leading to blurred vision. Due to the chances of injuries due to insects and falling, there are even more wounds. Sometimes, the participants also fall at risk of heart attack and other such diseases.

But, the actual time and process of recovery depends on several factors and varies from one individual to another. The first factor tells how far the body has been pushed out of its comfort zone to reach the extremes. According to some athletes, it is best to have one to two ultramarathons in a single year. During those runs, one needs to put all his/her efforts at one go to meet the deadline after which he should keep practising by running the same race daily but at a slower pace and a reduced intensity.

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The second factor which determines the time of recovery is up to how long one was able to withstand. Various reasons are stating why a participant may get exhausted in the middle of the race thereby being unable to complete it. Some of these factors include lack of appropriate nutrition, water and practice. If one gets exhausted in the midway, then the time of recovery is prolonged as the body has experienced the maximum amount of stress just before the point of saturation.

The athlete and the trainer need to think of the schedule of the next event to know the estimated time of recovery. Mostly, all the athletes follow the principle of having one event along with one ultramarathon per year. The body is provided the appropriate time of 12 months to recover and prepare itself for the next race.

Conclusion

An athlete needs to keep various points in mind to ensure that he recovers faster without chances of injury. Proper diet and lots of fluids should be taken before and after the race. Every injury, irrespective of whether it is minor or severe should be healed properly under medical guidance. Apart from physical recovery, one also needs the recovery process of the mind and should take enough sleep to calm and soothe the mind.

The athlete should not resume training right after the completion of the event. Sufficient care, nutrition and time should be provided to the body to repair the injured tissues and recover completely. Without proper recovery, it is impossible on the part of the individual to go for another race with efficiency. Hence, proper care should be taken during recovery.

Reference

  1. https://europepmc.org/article/med/7808242
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1469029211000318
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